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Skyful of Junk

Work Type: Chamber, Classical

Instrumentation: alto sax, electric bass, and piano

Duration: 8 minutes

Skyful of Junk takes its inspiration from the video gameĀ Katamari Damacy, in which your father, The King of the Cosmos, has gone on something of a cosmic bender and broken all the stars in the sky. You, his son, are charged with replacing them; to do so, you roll around a sticky ball (“katamari”) that accumulates all matter of objects, growing in size as it does so. The katamari, once big enough, is transformed into a star by The King.

The piece loosely follows this plot in four sections, beginning with a fast duet for bass and sax (Royal Joyride) that is barely in control, constantly banging into the piano before collapsing (Empty Night). The piano stirs the ensemble back into action (Full of Things), and the three instruments settle into a groove, picking up some things and dropping others along the way. Duty done, they relax and drift off into sleep (Toy Star).

Musically, the piece draws from a combination of Messaien’s modes of limited transposition, and the minor blues scale.